Thursday, January 29, 2015

Integrity

I've been thinking a lot about integrity lately. If you type it into the Google search engine the first definition that pops up is, "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness." It's interesting how different people can view that differently.

I have known people who are adamant about their own high level of personal integrity. They are bold in sharing Jesus with others and speaking their faith - and wearing Christian shirts and attending Christian things, etc. I have felt the sneer from some of these folks as they see me interacting with people who don't hold to the same moral filters as they do. Yet, I've also seen and heard first-hand how these "people of integrity" interact in their daily lives - at their jobs, in public places outside of church, etc. - and their behavior often leaves me questioning their integrity. They tend to act one way when they're in 'church' or around 'church friends' and another way when they're not.

As for me, I rarely share my faith with others, I'm not at all bold in talking about Jesus, I don't wear Christian garb or attend too many Christian things... but I'd like to think that I am honest and dependable and trustworthy and sincere. I certainly have my flaws, but I hope that I am the same when I am in front of others as when I am alone. I guess that's what integrity means to me.

So, whether I am right or not, I guess it doesn't matter. I was just thinking about it. I want to be a person of integrity. I want my 'yes' to mean 'yes' and my 'no' to mean 'no.' I suppose if someone says they're after the same thing - even if it doesn't look like mine - I should be glad about that. Hmm. Whatever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Comfortable

I was talking with someone the other day and it dawned on me that this is about as comfortable as I remember being - maybe ever. I'm not anxious about anything, have no anxiety, not really too worried about much.

When I was pastoring, going to school, and even in previous jobs, there were always those times I had to do things I didn't really want to... hospital visits with difficult people, phone calls in the middle of the night, being asked to "save" someone's grandchild (or grandparent), and the list goes on. Now... not so much. I get up, go to work, come home, and do it all over the next day. Not that my job doesn't have it's difficulties, but there isn't anything about it that makes me nervous. My limited involvement with church doesn't require much of me, I'm not really doing ANYTHING that takes me out of my comfort zone (other than a random conversation here and there). The thing is... it's the being in my comfort zone that makes me uncomfortable.

Sure, it is quite relaxing to be comfortable, and it's not that I WANT to be nervous or anxious about things... but it seems like something is missing; things are too easy; I'm not being stretched or challenged or anything, and I feel I've become a bit complacent.

So, I'm not complaining, but just noting that this phase of life is at hand. Who knows what the future holds. Here goes...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American sniper

I saw the hot new movie American Sniper in the IMAX theater at the old Rave last week. Wow. It was pretty cool watching it IMAX style, but it's a pretty intense movie. I went with Drew, Kyle & Colin, and Thomas gave us a tour of the theater afterward. That was pretty cool too.

I can certainly see why this is a controversial movie, and how people can feel very passionate about it from opposing viewpoints. It raises a lot of tough questions. Honestly, though, I didn't come away from the film feeling one side was pushing an agenda on the other. Perhaps I wasn't looking for it, but it seemed pretty fair in simply showing how horrible war is - for everybody involved.

Personally, I am a pacifist. I don't believe it should be up to me to decide who lives and who dies (or at least I don't want it to be up to me). I also prefer non-violence over violence. However, that doesn't mean I can't understand violent acts and war and whatnot. I could probably actually get into it if I decided to do so. But I CHOOSE to be a pacifist. It is not a feeling for me, it is a decision; a choice that I strive to live by.

That said, I know there are holes that can be found in this perspective; just like holes can be found in others. We live in a human, fallen world. I can't make everything work out, so I do the best I can, and try not to judge others with whom I disagree. I trust they're doing the best they can too. I don't see where name-calling really helps (not that I haven't done so myself - again, doing the best I can).

So, those are just some thoughts I had after watching the movie. I don't recommend it or not recommend it. It does make me ever more fearful that Sarah Palin might actually make a serious run in politics. But... what do I know? That's all.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jane's work party

This past Saturday was the holiday party for Jane's work. It was held at Ceruti's Banquet & Event Center in Fort Wayne (right next to the big Harley Davidson shop on the West side). It was a very nice place, and the food was fantabulous!

I believe Jane said the bank has around 250 total employees. So there was quite a crowd. They also had a bunch of door prizes (maybe 50?). Each employee got two tickets to use on door prizes. There was everything from Walmart gift cards, to Ipads, to Final Four tickets, and a 3-day cruise. Of course we didn't win anything. Jane used her ticket for a package to the winery in Roanoke; I used mine for the Final Four tickets. The one real downer of the night was that a member of the board of directors won those tickets. I wouldn't think that class of people should even be included... but what do I know.

As I said, the food was fantastic. They had salad, beef and chicken, potatoes, a vegetable mix, cheesecake, and a chocolate fountain. Yum. I suppose the biggest excitement of the night for us was when we got up to get our roast beast, the guy cutting it cut his finger and had to leave and a new guy immediately showed up to take his place. I don't think he bled at all, but I suppose just cutting through his glove was enough.

We sat at a table with Pam & Steve, Amy and her husband (can never remember his name), and Steve and Bridget. I was glad we were able to sit with all people that we knew.

The entertainment for the evening was a dinner theater style whodunnit. They had actors on stage and each table had to figure out who committed the crime. It was kind of fun, but it went on just a tad too long. The main guy ended up being the guy I listen to on the radio every day on WBCL (Larry Bower). Jane and I both thought he seemed familiar, and he actually was.

Anyway, it lasted from 6 pm until a little after 9 pm. It was fun, the food was good, and no one got too annoying. So, I'm glad we went. It would be nice to win a door prize some year, but oh well. I took two ink pens from the table.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flipped the mattress

We have both been waking up with sore backs lately, so this morning we flipped the mattress. I thought we had just done it not too long ago, but the last recorded entry I have is from November 2014. Maybe that was it. Anyway, today we flipped it over and end-for-end.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Anna's birthday - pt. 2

We went to Cebolla's Mexican Grill on Jefferson for Anna's 4th birthday. It was her request to have tacos - which she loves - and we all thought this might be better than her favorite... Taco Bell. It was. Unfortunately the poor girl felt horrible. She was running a fever all day, and her nose was dripping like a faucet. So she didn't enjoy herself too much, but it was still a nice time. They also come and sing 'happy birthday' to you at this restaurant, and put a big sombrero on you. I suppose it was partly because she didn't feel good, and partly because she is pretty shy, that she was kind of freaked out about the whole thing. We all thought it was nice though - especially Bennett and Caleb.

Anyway, we gave Anna the dress we got her, as well as the snow shovels I got for her and Bennett (red/pink for her, blue for B). Drew Carrie had her open the Hello Kitty cd player they got her. She also wore her birthday crown and brought a bouquet of flowers for the table (such a nice gesture for such a little person). The poor thing tried to enjoy it as much as possible.

I had 2 tacos and a side of rice, and a coke. Anna chowed a taco. Bennett had a quesadilla and rice, and we discovered that Caleb really likes avocado. Of course we sat right beside the big fountain, but the kids maintained their curiosity pretty well. It was fun. It was also pretty inexpensive.

I'm not sure about the party that was planned for Anna for tomorrow (for family). Carrie took her to Redi-Med today, and they weren't sure if she had a cold or the flu. If there's a chance it's the flu then we don't really want her great-grandparents around her. So we'll see. Here are some pics from last night.





Friday, January 23, 2015

Anna turns 4

Today is granddaughter, Anna Jane's, 4th birthday!!! My how time flies. She will probably always hold a special place because, not only was she the first grandchild we had, but she is also the only girl (so far). She is growing up so so fast.

This past year she welcomed another brother (Caleb); she started preschool (3 mornings a week); she went to the dentist; and her vocabulary and intelligence continued to expand. It's hard to believe that she is at that age where she will be able to remember things for the rest of her life now. My oh my.

I believe the plan is to go out for supper tonight for one of her favorite foods - tacos. Not sure if it will be Taco Bell or Cebello's. Either way, the taco's aren't what is important to me... It's just hoping she has fun. She is a cutie.

Here are a few pics from this year. The first one was taken by Jane at my parents house this summer. The second was on a trip to Chicago that Jane, Carrie and Anna took a couple months ago. The bottom pic is from a little party Carrie had for Anna and some of her friends at JP the other day. Anna is the one smiling wide. :)




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Personal coaching

So... lately I've been thinking about the possibility of looking further into this coaching thing. I recently received my Certificate in Christian Leadership Coaching through Coach Approach Ministries, and it seems like a bit of a waste to not put it to some kind of use. Of course, if you know me, you know that I immediately started to question whether I could do such a thing, or why anyone would ask ME for coaching - let alone pay me for it! So... I've just been thinking about it.

One consideration would be my past and present online presence. Ooof... have you read some of the things I've written online??? Good God! Who is this guy (me)? So I might need to clean some things up around here; probably start a whole new blog; maybe even get rid of this one entirely; and... you know, I'd have to be a lot more serious about stuff I publish. I think I 'could' do it... the question is... do I WANT to? Although, I guess the other side is... But this is who I am, and that's how some people like me to be. So... I dunno.

I was also thinking about how I would advertise myself. Yes, I would be doing this as a job - not a form of discipleship (ok, Bill?). So I wondered, what do I have to offer people; why would anyone be interested in coming to me for coaching? Well, I do have a wide and varied background in a lot of areas (factory work, music, sports, professional), I have a BA in Religious Studies from Findlay U., a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry from Winebrenner Seminary, I spent 14 years as a Sr. Pastor doing actual church work, and then there's the certificate I just received. It doesn't look too awful bad on paper does it?

However, I'm still not sure how I would advertise or what I would call myself (notice I am going to great lengths to keep from using the word 'market'!). Would I coach only church leaders? Would it be only for Christians? Would it be ministry-specific? Could I be more like a life coach? ...I don't know.

I don't know enough about life-coaching to know if I could go that route, but I don't know that I would be comfortable limiting it to just church leaders. So that's why I'm wondering about just saying: Dan Horwedel, Personal Coach. Eh... that sounds weird, but really, maybe it's better to not limit it in any way.

I like what my teacher/friend Brian has done with his Coaching Clarity site. I would like to do something similar, and would undoubtedly steal as much from him as I could, but I am also quite different from Brian. He is much smarter than I am, but we also have different niches, and I wouldn't necessarily be interested in training others to coach. My interests are different.

I have also been considering the Renovare Institute. It's a 2-year school of Christian Spiritual Formation. That is a definite area of interest for me (spiritual formation). I believe it would not only better me as a coach, but I am just personally interested for my own growth. I know it's online, but I don't know yet about costs and time-commitments and whatnot. It's a possibility.

So, there you have it. I'm not at the point of quitting my day job. In fact, it's probably something I would always do in addition to my day job. I just feel like there's something more I could/should be doing. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coming back to life

I am a fan of David Gilmour's work, and his song "Coming Back To Life" has really resonated with me lately. Such a powerful song, with masterfully nuanced guitar work. But I think it's the haunting lyrics that really do it for me.

Where were you... when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by... from my window watching
And where were you... when I was hurt and helpless
Because the things you say... and the things you do... surround me

I have no idea what David was thinking when he wrote the song, but when I hear it... it makes me think about that feeling most of us have when we're struggling and we think we're all alone. It doesn't really matter if it's true or not when you're feeling that way. It's a really nice feeling, though, when we can begin to see things for how they really are - that we are not near as alone as we think we are - and we can start "staring straight into the Shining Sun" again.

I have always said, this is the benefit of professional counseling: it allows someone to see into our life for us when perhaps we aren't so able to. However, I suppose we're all like that to some degree. Such is the place of good friends, partners, small groups, etc.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking about on this foggy, frozen morning.

Peace out; and in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sds79hLvquA

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mugged

A long time ago, at the church where I used to serve as pastor, we ordered a bunch of coffee mugs with the church name on them. We suggested they be used to "mug" people - give a friend a coffee mug and invite them to be part of the church. Everybody needs another coffee mug. Somehow we ended up with probably a half dozen or so of them around our house (ours are all from the batch that didn't turn out right - we didn't steal them).

At different times since then a few people have commented they're surprised I still use them. You know, because of... what happened and all. I was thinking about that the other day as I sipped tea from one of those mugs at work.

The fact is, I am NOT ashamed or embarrassed to still use them. We have so many good memories of our time there; so many good things happened; so much of our life was involved with that "place" (realizing the church is not a place, but a people who are often identified with a place name). Granted, things did not end well there, and it was as much my fault as anyone's, but I refuse to strike that period or those people from my memory banks. It's like that thing Roman Catholics try to do by annulling marriages. How in the world can you say it never happened?!? I never understood that, and I don't want to say this never happened (the 14 years, not how it ended)!!!

So, while I don't usually even notice when I'm using a Fairview mug, I certainly don't have a problem with it. In fact, sometimes I'm even quite proud.

And while I'm on the subject... that was one of the things that really pissed me off after all was said and done. Months after everything went down I suggested the idea of reconciliation between us and the church board. The response we got was, "Sometimes reconciliation means moving on." I'm sorry, but that does NOT make sense to me. It didn't then, and it still doesn't today. But... whatever. That person may want to forget me/us, but I hope to never forget the people I ministered to and with during that time. Nor do I wish to suppress those memories. No one can ever take that away from me.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fws holiday party

This past Saturday night was our holiday party for where I work. It seems more and more places are moving their parties until after the holidays, which is okay by me. Rather than try to crowd even more things in before xmas, it seems easier on everyone to just wait. Jane's is this coming Saturday.

Anyway, we had dinner reservations at Granite City for 7:30. It was probably 8 before we got a table, and they have such an awkward waiting area, but what are you gonna do? Not everyone was there, but it was: Kyle (Amber), Karen, Drew (Carrie), Kendra (Tom), Michael, Dylan (his girlfriend), and Jane and myself. I had the 10 oz steak with baked potato and green beans, along with 2 glasses of the Bennie Bock. Everything I had was really good. Jane had some kind of fish - and it had little bones in it - plus they couldn't seem to get her wine order correct. I think everything was pretty good otherwise. I like GC, but it seems they could stand to get their act together a little more.

After we ate we all went to Columbia Street and continued the party until... a little too late probably. Things started a little tense. We had never been there before, and we parked across the street where everyone else was. We didn't even get across the street and a tow truck pulled up right in front of our car. Apparently I was parked in a spot for the apartment complex, and they were ready to tow me. So I moved the car about 20 feet and we all went inside.

It was actually nicer inside than I envisioned. We went in the back part, where the bands are, and got a table. Some band started at like 10:30. They were "okay." They played some good stuff, but a little too much country for me. There were a few people dancing on the lower level in front of the bar. When the band took their first break though, the club started playing more dance-type music, and the dance floor completely filled up! It was kind of funny, but I suppose the band didn't think so. It's not a good sign when the dance floor fills up WHILE YOU'RE ON BREAK! So they took a looooong break, and then started up again. People still danced, but not as many.

So, it ended up being a pretty fun night. I wasn't sure if we would even go to C-Street, but I'm glad we did. KZ actually had to preach the next morning, and we were greeters at church, but we all survived.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A new mouse, and 213,000 miles

We had to buy a new wireless mouse for the laptop at home. I guess I wrote on Facebook about the cat knocking a cup of coffee over on the computer a week or two ago. So far the Lenovo has faired pretty well. It was drenched with an entire cup of coffee. I just turned it on its side and let it all drain off. Apparently the mouse couldn't take it though. We have a wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse - and I'm not sure I could use a laptop regularly without them (at least the mouse) - so we just forked over $25 for another Logitech mouse last night. They keyboard is not as necessary - I don't use one on my computer at the office - but I do like one with the computer at home. The home laptop seems to be much more sensitive to hands and arms and whatnot.

In other news... the Buick turned over 213,000 miles this morning. We had a meeting at the Downtown facility, and it hit the mark just as I pulled into the parking lot. Then I forgot to tell anyone about it. It was also a bit odd because usually the odometer doesn't light up, and you can't see how many miles are on it (or what gear it's in), but it was lit up this morning. So there ya go!